April 21, 2021
SAN FRANCISCO — April 21, 2021 — Today, the Stellar Development Foundation (SDF) announced a $3 million USD Enterprise Fund investment in Tribal Credit, a US-based fintech platform providing financial services for digital-first SMEs in emerging markets.
The investment will allow Tribal Credit to advance development of its blockchain products built on Stellar, bringing banking solutions and cross-border payments to businesses in Latin America and other emerging markets, as well as leverage the most powerful features of the Stellar network to make payments even faster and more cost-effective.
“Our entire mission is about empowering startups and SMEs in emerging markets with access to financial services,” said Amr Shady, Tribal Credit CEO. “Our focus starts in Mexico, a country that will benefit from global accessibility to banking services previously only available to large corporations. By tapping into Stellar’s existing and growing network of anchors, we will be able to leverage existing digital assets to bring our customers with fast, affordable cross-border payments, credit card balance settlement, and other innovative features of the Stellar blockchain that will benefit our global users."
Tribal Credit recently raised a combined Series A and debt round of $34.3 million, led by QED investors and Partners for Growth (PFG). SDF’s participation in the investment round is targeted to facilitate Tribal’s integration onto the Stellar network as it executes its vision for blockchain-powered products and services.
“We see blockchain, and our integration with Stellar specifically, as a strategic next step for our business, offering us the ability to provide cheaper, faster payments for our customers,” said Mohamed Elkasstawi, Tribal Credit Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer who leads the blockchain vision, strategy, and execution. “Working with the Stellar ecosystem, we’ll be able to leverage the network to deliver on some of our most important use cases — like facilitating cross-border payments between businesses in previously underserved markets. This is only one of many exciting blockchain projects we’re working on in partnership with SDF.”
With around 62 million SMEs in LATAM making business-to-business payments, Tribal Credit was created to help empower them with next generation payment products.
"Tribal Credit shares our vision for a world where access to financial services is a right, not a privilege,” said Denelle Dixon, CEO and Executive Director of SDF. “We’re excited to work alongside Tribal as they integrate onto the Stellar network and see the many ways they will support startups and SMEs in emerging markets with the financial services they need, providing equitable access to the global financial system and at the same time, driving economic growth. As Tribal develops Stellar-powered products, we will not only expand the Stellar network, we will also establish another outstanding strategic partner to businesses and developers in the ecosystem to create meaningful new business opportunities.”
This is the fourth investment made in the 2021 fiscal year from SDF's Enterprise Fund, a venture-style fund for growing the open-source Stellar network, bringing the fund’s total investments this year alone to $9.5 million, for a combined total of $18.765 million in investments since its launch in FY20.
Stellar is a decentralized, fast, scalable, and uniquely sustainable network for financial products and services. It is both a cross-currency transaction system and a platform for digital asset issuance, designed to connect the world’s financial infrastructure. Dozens of financial institutions worldwide issue assets and settle payments on the Stellar network, which has grown to over 5 million accounts.
About Stellar Development Foundation
The Stellar Development Foundation (SDF) is a non-profit organization that supports the development and growth of Stellar, an open-source network that connects the world’s financial infrastructure. Founded in 2014, the Foundation helps maintain Stellar’s codebase, supports the technical and business communities building on the network, and serves as a voice to regulators and institutions. The Foundation seeks to create equitable access to the global financial system, using the Stellar network to unlock the world’s economic potential through blockchain technology.
About Tribal Credit
Tribal Credit is a fintech company built for emerging-market SMEs looking for a better way to pay business expenses and optimize their financial management. The San Francisco-based startup provides modern payment methods like multi-currency physical and virtual business Visa cards and a powerful spend management platform to track and control expenses—all in one seamless interface. Founded by serial entrepreneurs, data scientists and fintech execs, Tribal Credit is on a mission to power SMEs’ growth in emerging markets to bridge the business financial inclusion gap in payments and financing. Tribal Credit is backed by QED Investors, Partners for Growth, BECO Capital, Global Ventures, SDF, Endure Capital, 500 Startups, Endeavor Catalyst and OTG Ventures. The company is also part of the Visa Fintech Fast Track program among an elite group of fintechs.